Thursday, November 27, 2014

Ministers of transport of the Oranisation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) signed a joint declaration in Thessaloniki, on November 26, to boost intermodal transport competitiveness. The declaration that was signed in the context of Greece's Chairmanship-in-office of BSEC, highlighted the willingness of the participating ministers to finalize procedures for the construction of the Black Sea Ring Highway (BSRH route).

When completed, this Ring Highway will help develop an integrated multimodal regional transport system, competitive in the global service market.

Transport ministers further announced their intention to draft a Memorandum of Understanding on the development of intermodal ferry and passenger lines in the BSEC region.

Science and mathematics can acquire an enticing meaning when applied in the most popular type of auto racing; the Formula 1, a combination of excellence in aerodynamics, traction control and electronics. The "Formula 1 in Schools" is the only global multi-disciplinary challenge in which teams of students aged 9 to 19 deploy software to design and race miniature wood F1 cars. The organisers call it an opportunity for students to "change the perceptions of science and technology by creating a fun and exciting learning environment." The challenge takes place in over 40 countries around the world. Currently in its 10th edition, the 2014 Finals [video] took place in Abu Dhabi (November 14-21), ahead of the real thing, the 2014 Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Greece was represented for the first time in this challenge. The team Pole Position won the Knock out Competition award, followed by two other Greek teams (the Absolute Accelero and the Sapphire racing team). The Greek-Cypriot collaborative team Absolute Accelero also won the Fastest Car award.

The U.S. premiere of Sam Shepard’s "A Particle of Dread (Oedipus Variations)" officially opened off-Broadway on November 23. Directed by Nancy Meckler, the production stars Oscar nominee Stephen Rea and Tony winner Brid Brennan. It is a modern take on a well-known ancient Greek myth: a tragic hero mistakenly kills his father and marries his mother, thereby bringing disaster on his city and his family.

"Oedipus represents two enduring themes of Greek myth and drama: the flawed nature of humanity and an individual's role in the course of destiny in a harsh universe." The original Athenian tragedy “Oedipus the King” was written by Sophocles, and was first performed circa 429 B.C.

Shepard, one of America’s most popular avant-garde playwrights, adapted the tragic story of patricide: "The thing about Oedipus to me that is so incredible is that it doesn’t have a plot. There’s no story. It’s just a situation. It’s a predicament that the central character finds himself in. And the audience knows everything. He’s totally guilty, as the audience knows, but believes himself totally innocent." This   dark, fragmented, modern-day take on Oedipus Rex premiered in Derry, Ireland, and features a cast of actors from both sides of the Atlantic.

See also New York Times Theatre Review: "Particle of Dread" Sam Shepard’s Take on Oedipus

  • El Greco’s Traces @ Athens Concert Hall
A concert that follows, in musical terms, the journey of El Greco from post-Byzantine Crete to Renaissance Venice and then on to Toledo will be performed at the Athens Concert Hall tonight (11.27). The concert aspires to be a picture in sounds re-creating the musical environment of the era and the places where the great Cretan artist lived and painted. The repertoire includes a selection of melodies and songs from the Cretan tradition (on poetry by Vitsentzos Kornaros and Georgios Hortatsis), Italian Renaissance music and Spanish Renaissance music. Music Ensembles En Chordais, Ensemble Constantinople and the Byzantine Choir The Maïstores of the Psaltic Art will be performing.

  • Pavlos Samios’ Painting Apology @ Benaki Museum
Painter Pavlos Samios’ retrospective exhibition Painting Apology is running at the Benaki Museum until January 11, 2015. The exhibition focuses on the painter’s works of the past four years, as well as a selection of works deriving from all his creative periods, recording the themes that have at times occupied his work; it features approximately 180 works, many of which belong to private collections it includes. There will also be a publication on the artist's works.

O P E R A  G A L A
  • Christmas Charity Opera Gala @ Onassis Cultural Centre
Works by Mozart, Strauss, Verdi, Bizet and other great classical composers will be performed at the ELEPAP Charity Christmas event, to be held at the Onassis Cultural Centre, on December 1. The Christmas Charity Opera Gala will feature the NERIT National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Anastasios Symeonidis, mezzo-soprano Irini Karaianni, soprano Vassiliki Karayanni, baritone Charis Andrianos and tenor Vassilis Kavayas from the Greek National Opera; some of the best-known Viennese waltzes in the form of duets choreographed by Renato Zanella will be performed by National Opera’s ballet soloists.